Cork oak, Quercus suber: planting, pruning and maintenance

chene liege

The Cork Oak is a beautiful tree, appreciated for its bark and beautiful evergreen foliage.

In summary, what you need to know is:

Name  : Quercus suber
Family  Fagaceae
Type  : Evergreen tree

Height  10 to 15 m
Exhibition  : Sunny
Sol  Well drained

Foliage  : Persistent –  Flowering  : Spring –  Harvest  : Autumn

Plantation of Cork Oak

The cork oak or quercus suber doesn’t care about in the fall or to Spring …but above all without any risk of frost.

Purchased in a pot or container, you can also plant the cork oak in a mixture of garden soil and compost

  • Provide regular and consistent watering in the first year after planting.

Cork oak can take up a lot of space when it reaches its adult size, so don’t plant it too close to your home.

  • Cork Oak needs sunlight to grow well.
  • The Cork Oak can be planted along the coast as it is unaffected by sea spray.
  • Observe the instructions for plantation and favour well-drained soil.

Growth of cork oak :

The growth of Cork Oak (quercus suber) is relatively slow at the beginning but tends to accelerate when it is well established.

  • To accelerate the growth of the quercus suber, generous watering every 15 days or so in the first year after planting will improve rooting and thus recovery.
  • Don’t hesitate to remove the flowers in spring and the acorns afterwards if there are any, as they draw heavily on the reserves of the cork oak.
  • The addition of shrub fertilizer should also accelerate the growth of cork oak.

Pruning and maintenance of Cork Oak

Cork oak is easy to maintain and requires very little care, especially when properly installed.

Maintenance of cork oak, quercus suber :

It must be given the best planting conditions and regular watering the first year after planting.

Pruning of Cork Oak, quercus suber :

The size of the cork oak is not mandatory. In fact, cork oak does not need to be pruned but dead branches can be removed as and when they are present.

On the other hand, cork oak is not afraid of pruning either and can be cut both in height and width without difficulty.

The silhouette of the Cork Oak being particularly pretty, try to keep it during pruning.

  • The sizeable period of cork oak to take place in late winter, spring or to in the fall .
  • Never prune in frosty weather, even if frost is only to be expected a few days later.
  • Do not prune cork oak in the summer when it is too hot.

Pests and diseases of Cork Oak

Cork Oak is fairly resistant to diseases, insects and pests. It has a long lifespan, up to 1500 or even 2000 years.

  • The oak processionary caterpillars: Treatment is difficult for large oaks. Other treatments for the caterpillar include oak processionary
  • The foliage is covered with white : It’s probably the powdery mildew

About cork oak (quercus suber)

chene liege As the holm oak with which it is sometimes possible to confuse it, the cork oak offers a beautiful evergreen foliage, tough leaves, shiny on top and whitish underneath.

Slightly less rustic than the quercus ilex, Cork oak is also found in the Mediterranean basin, its resistance to cold (around -15°) means that it is sometimes found along the Atlantic coast.

Note however that its leaves tend to brown as soon as the temperature drops below -5°.

Element dominating the garrigue with Aleppo pine and juniper Cork Oak is also used for the reinforcement of dunes along the Atlantic coast. Indeed, its powerful root system allows it to fetch water from deep down and thus stabilize fragile soils such as sand dunes.

Note that a forest of cork oaks is called a suberaie.

The lifespan of a cork oak is several hundred years.

The cork oak is the ideal tree to hide from a neighbour without climbing too high but be careful you will have to plant your tree more than 2 metres from the property line.